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#2255256 - 04/01/14 10:22 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: steveknight]  
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Originally Posted by steveknight
My main issue with Alfred's books are that they are very American centric, names of notes etc. not a problem really but most of the tunes are not familiar to Brits. British piano learning courses / books seem harder to find, anyone else find this and any suggestions ?


You're saying Brits are not familiar with Loch Lomond, Danny Boy, and Morning Has Broken? Nor Brahams' Lullaby nor Pomp and Circumstance?

I know that citizens of the US may not always have the broadest world view, and that the selections in the Alfred books are not always anyone's favorite, but your argument about Alfred being "American centric" is not convincing. Conversely you could also simply state that you have a preference for a more British centric method book.


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#2255814 - 04/02/14 07:45 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: steveknight]  
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Kenneth Baker: Complete Piano Player is still available, vols. 1 to 5. I got some of mine secondhand from Abe books for a reasonable price. The pieces are 80s pop-oriented but with some classical & jazz. I do not think the theory & learning aspect is up to Alfred's standard but they are useful as a supplementary. Also, not many of the pieces are available on YouTube.
Later editions of the early vols. now have CDs, I believe.

#2259093 - 04/09/14 11:45 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...]  
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Did anyone else find Happy Birthday to you difficult, Seems ridiculous but I'm struggling with it !

#2259094 - 04/09/14 11:48 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: malkin]  
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I'm on book one, which doesn't have a lot of what you've mentioned and yes, a Brit centric book would be good for Brits but I guess Alfred's is good for Americans. But I look forward to playing the ones you've mentioned when I get to them.

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#2259292 - 04/09/14 07:29 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: steveknight]  
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Originally Posted by steveknight
Did anyone else find Happy Birthday to you difficult, Seems ridiculous but I'm struggling with it !


If you notice. Every piece in Alfred's has some sort of twist to it. That's because they're trying to teach something. Focus on what they're trying to teach. Don't let it throw you thinking you're just playing the song.


Ron
Your brain is a sponge. Keep it wet. Mary Gae George
The focus of your personal practice is discipline. Not numbers. Scott Sonnon
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#2259458 - 04/10/14 01:30 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...]  
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I don't know about brit/american-centric versions - i'm from Sweden. Fact is, i don't recognize many of the songs in many of the practice books i learn. But i still have fun playing them - so far about half into Alfred's first book and it's been both fun and educational smile.

#2268965 - 04/30/14 03:34 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...]  
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All Dorothy did was wake up. I had to bump this thread. Who would knock out a child? High above the chimney tops that is where you'll find me. Escape, Escape...

If all the boys were girls they would of been here by now. Now that is a sexist with reason. They will never take a female's beauty.

Beauty and the Beast?

Last edited by SmellsLikeABeer; 04/30/14 03:41 AM.
#2269372 - 04/30/14 11:40 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...]  
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Hi all,

Could someone tell me the difference between the accompanying CD vs DVD ?

There are two distinct products:

http://www.alfred.com/Products/Alfreds-Basic-Adult-All-in-One-Course-Book-1--00-5756.aspx

http://www.alfred.com/Products/Alfreds-Basic-Adult-All-in-One-Course-Book-1--00-37748.aspx

Many thanks.

#2269478 - 05/01/14 07:53 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: HaraldC]  
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Hi HaraldC, Welcome.

I am a big believer in the DVD version. Gayle Kowalchyk takes you through the book and plays the pieces for you. This way you get to see the fingering as well as hear what it should sound like on a piano. It is my understanding that the CD version contains tracks taken from midi files - it's not the same as hearing and seeing the real thing. If you are going through this book on your own I would definitely recommend the DVD version (that is what I did).


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#2269776 - 05/01/14 07:28 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...]  
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Many thanks Scorpio smile This is exactly what I suspected but I wasn't sure.

No vendor seems to carry the DVD version, I'll have to check if Alfred ships overseas.

Cheers grin


#2269855 - 05/01/14 09:45 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: HaraldC]  
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pwl Online content
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sheetmusicplus.com carries the DVD version, and ships internationally. Here's a direct link:

Alfred's Basic Adult All-in-One, Book 1 with DVD

#2269871 - 05/01/14 10:05 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: pwl]  
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Originally Posted by pwl
sheetmusicplus.com carries the DVD version, and ships internationally. Here's a direct link:

Alfred's Basic Adult All-in-One, Book 1 with DVD


If you don't pay the extra for the express shipping expect to wait a bit of time. I have ordered a couple of times from this source and waited the full six weeks quoted.


Problems with piano are 90% psychological, the other 10% is in your head.

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#2269877 - 05/01/14 10:09 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...]  
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The Book Depository in the UK has faster shipping time and the book with DVD is also there.



Problems with piano are 90% psychological, the other 10% is in your head.

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#2270345 - 05/02/14 07:20 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...]  
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HaraldC Offline
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Many thanks to all that replied smile and even more thanks for those that mentioned SheetMusicPlus and Book Depository UK thumb

In my previous searches I missed both because the "DVD" is buried within the description and couldn't find it.

Shipping times it's not a big concern to me at the moment.

I bought from both (in the past) and my personal experience is that Book Depository has often better total prices (shipping!) and ships faster for an Australian buyer while SheetMusicPlus has an obviously larger collection.

Cheers grin

#2284028 - 06/01/14 05:42 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...]  
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I have just joined this thread, been working through the first Alfred's all in one book, obviously, and I am loving it.
Being from South Africa doesn't seem to matter much as I know most of the music from American movies etc.

I have reached "Scarborough Fair". This piece is challenging yet beautiful. Still have a lot of work to make it sound good.

I am also looking forward to the bonus pieces at the end, especially "Over the Rainbow" and "Singing in the Rain" as these bring back memories of watching movies with my grandparents.

My teacher and I are talking about continuing with the Alfred's series with book 2.
What are everyone's thoughts about continuing with this series?


Jeremy

Bach's motto : Let not your right hand know what the left is doing.

Started learning in March 2014
Alfred's Basic Adult All-in-one Book 1
#2284035 - 06/01/14 06:37 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...]  
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Welcome to the thread Jeremy SA,

I did not do book 1, I guess because I was learning other things with my teacher but I did start book 2 and 3 simultaneously. A bit unorthodox I know but I do not regret it. I thought I would be more disciplined with the books but there were many pieces that just did not hold my interest and that's important if you are going to spend a significant time on them. I would not put you off doing book 2 but I ended up doing less than 10% and probably around 30% of book 3.

We are all different but I found I was drawn mainly to classical works and after reading some favorable reviews here I bought several books from the Keith Snell series "Essential Repertoire from the 17th, 18th & 19th Centuries". These are not method books just selections of works from the Baroque, Classical & Romantic periods. If I had known of "Fundamental Keys" at the time I probably would have considered this also.

The Alfred series offers the structure of a "method" and is ideal for the self teaching student. However since you have a teacher, with their guidance you can afford to be a lot more involved in the selection of works you enjoy and is also fit for purpose in your development. As I said, I am drawn more to classical works and many have said here that learning works by Bach is essential. Sadly the only Bach work in the series (Toccata in D Minor) is only to be found in the advanced section of book 3. This does not imply that the Alfred series are bad books because they don't contain Bach, just that no one method is perfect.


Problems with piano are 90% psychological, the other 10% is in your head.

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#2284551 - 06/02/14 10:13 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...]  
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Hi and welcome Jeremy. I'm about 1/3 of the way through AIO book 2. Not every piece is engaging musically, but that is part of working through a method book, I believe.

I'm supplementing with a lot of pieces outside the book, like Earlofmar indicated, there is a ton of early intermediate repertoire that is nicely graded that becomes accessible at some point. I really enjoyed the bonus pieces at the end of book 1, they are challenging but very fun to play. From where you are to the end of book 1, it's quite the ride. Enjoy it!

Last edited by ajames; 06/02/14 03:05 PM.

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#2285712 - 06/04/14 01:45 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Jeremy SA]  
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Originally Posted by Jeremy SA
My teacher and I are talking about continuing with the Alfred's series with book 2.
What are everyone's thoughts about continuing with this series?


I went through book 1 on my own. I've had a teacher for book 2. I'm about halfway through and considering just stopping with the Alfred book. I've switched over to playing from RCM grade 1 books.

I do enjoy many of the pieces in Alfred 2, but not as many as I did in book 1. I think book 2 is worthwhile to use, though.

#2287231 - 06/08/14 06:33 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...]  
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Hello guys,

I was told the Alfred's adult course is one of the best methods out there especially for self studying. The only problem with that is lack of classical pieces.
What do you think the best pieces book to complement it with?

#2287235 - 06/08/14 06:47 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...]  
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Personally I like the Keith Snell Essential Repertoire of the 17th, 18th and 19th Centuries. This is not a method just a collection of pieces.

"Fundamental Keys" has gathered a number of good reviews from posters here but I have never used it. It is another method book but concentrates on classical works.


Problems with piano are 90% psychological, the other 10% is in your head.

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#2287236 - 06/08/14 06:49 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: LeoPianist2014]  
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Originally Posted by LeoPianist2014
Hello guys,

I was told the Alfred's adult course is one of the best methods out there especially for self studying.


BTW I think everyone would agree there is no best method.


Problems with piano are 90% psychological, the other 10% is in your head.

13x[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
#2287329 - 06/08/14 11:59 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: earlofmar]  
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Originally Posted by earlofmar
BTW I think everyone would agree there is no best method.


Well I said ONE of best methods. Not the BEST one smile As to the Fundamental Keys I received one a couple of days ago. I wouldn't call it a "method" per se as there's very few instructions there. As to all the technical stuff she just attaches a couple of pages with scales and arpeggios without mentioning how and when to incorporate them in practice sessions. It seems Alfred's is much more sophisticated instructions-wise. Speaking about books you've mentioned when would you start using them? From the very beginning? When the first half of the Alfred's was mastered? Towards the end? Cheers!

#2287394 - 06/08/14 03:40 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: LeoPianist2014]  
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Originally Posted by LeoPianist2014
Originally Posted by earlofmar
BTW I think everyone would agree there is no best method.


Well I said ONE of best methods. Not the BEST one smile As to the Fundamental Keys I received one a couple of days ago. I wouldn't call it a "method" per se as there's very few instructions there. As to all the technical stuff she just attaches a couple of pages with scales and arpeggios without mentioning how and when to incorporate them in practice sessions. It seems Alfred's is much more sophisticated instructions-wise. Speaking about books you've mentioned when would you start using them? From the very beginning? When the first half of the Alfred's was mastered? Towards the end? Cheers!



Surprised to hear Fundamental Keys is disappointing. Are you aware of the video series that goes with the book (to be found on the website). While the additional cost to me seems like a bit of a "double dipping" compared to private lessons this is an economical method.

As far as learning other material I am no teacher but have this to say. Many have written they move through the Alfred Book 1 very quickly to the midway point where it gets progressively more difficult. I would encourage anyone to stick with the book to the end and take in all that it has to offer. However if you just cannot get and enjoyment from the material material then work on something you do like. This may be further ahead in the book or elsewhere.


Problems with piano are 90% psychological, the other 10% is in your head.

13x[Linked Image]
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#2287396 - 06/08/14 03:49 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: earlofmar]  
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Originally Posted by earlofmar
Originally Posted by LeoPianist2014
[quote=earlofmar]BTW I think everyone would agree there is no best method.


Well I said ONE of best methods. Not the BEST one smile As to the Fundamental Keys I received one a couple of days ago. I wouldn't call it a "method" per se as there's very few instructions there. As to all the technical stuff she just attaches a couple of pages with scales and arpeggios without mentioning how and when to incorporate them in practice sessions. It seems Alfred's is much more sophisticated instructions-wise. Speaking about books you've mentioned when would you start using them? From the very beginning? When the first half of the Alfred's was mastered? Towards the end? Cheers!



Surprised to hear Fundamental Keys is disappointing. Are you aware of the video series that goes with the book (to be found on the website). While the additional cost to me seems like a bit of a "double dipping" compared to private lessons this is an economical method.

As far as learning other material I am no teacher but have this to say. Many have written they move through the Alfred Book 1 very quickly to the midway point where it gets progressively more difficult. I would encourage anyone to stick with the book to the end and take in all that it has to offer. However if you just cannot get any enjoyment from the material material then work on something you do like. This may be further ahead in the book or elsewhere.

For us beginners we always want to dabble with something new which may not be in our method books and there is no harm in that.

Last edited by earlofmar; 06/08/14 03:49 PM.

Problems with piano are 90% psychological, the other 10% is in your head.

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#2287405 - 06/08/14 04:17 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...]  
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I now have Fundamental Keys and so far it is working well with adult students. I think it has just enough instructional material. The instructional paragraphs are extremely short and very informative about the one thing they intend to teach you, then you get a lot of pieces in which to practice the new skill. FK is oriented toward learning to do things by practice, not by reading pages of information. So there are a lot of pieces which will teach you useful skills in a logical order if you learn the pieces to the point of mastery. But obviously none of my students are working without a teacher so I can't speak to that.

Alfred lost my confidence the minute I saw how many times they misspelled Dvorak!


Heather W. Reichgott, piano http://heatherwreichgott.blogspot.com

Working on:
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#2287449 - 06/08/14 06:28 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: earlofmar]  
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pwl Online content
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Originally Posted by earlofmar
Surprised to hear Fundamental Keys is disappointing. Are you aware of the video series that goes with the book (to be found on the website).

For me, the videos are very important and a "key" element of Fundamental Keys!

#2287592 - 06/09/14 04:40 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: hreichgott]  
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Originally Posted by hreichgott
I now have Fundamental Keys and so far it is working well with adult students. I think it has just enough instructional material. The instructional paragraphs are extremely short and very informative about the one thing they intend to teach you, then you get a lot of pieces in which to practice the new skill. FK is oriented toward learning to do things by practice, not by reading pages of information. So there are a lot of pieces which will teach you useful skills in a logical order if you learn the pieces to the point of mastery. But obviously none of my students are working without a teacher so I can't speak to that.

Alfred lost my confidence the minute I saw how many times they misspelled Dvorak!


As I've already mentioned there're some scales and arpeggios in the back of the book but not a single word about how and when to practice them. I know there're teachers who prefer their students to play through the carefully selected pieces which incorporate all the needed technical studies so there's no need to play scales and arpeggios and other technical stuff. But I don't think that's the case with FK. I may be wrong though.

#2287862 - 06/09/14 09:49 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: LeoPianist2014]  
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Originally Posted by LeoPianist2014
As I've already mentioned there're some scales and arpeggios in the back of the book but not a single word about how and when to practice them.

Rachel used to have a video (free on her site) specifically devoted to scales. It didn't survive the transition to the new site - I've inquired whether it will be available again.

#2287902 - 06/10/14 12:14 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...]  
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Scales aren't really necessary in learning piano, but they are a good way to warm up, concentrate on your technique, and learn the "feel" of different key signatures which will make it easier to play pieces in keys outside of C major.

I have been putting up lots of scale and arpeggio videos on my YouTube channel over the weekend. Not finished yet, but have all the majors up. There are slow versions for beginners at scales to watch, and faster versions for checking you're playing with the right finger numbers and have all the right sharps and flats.

A very important note to remember about learning scales is that you MUST use the correct fingers. I have the finger numbers in the information section under each video. You can go straight to my YouTube Channel (in my signature)or I have organised lists of technical work with links here:

http://theivorytimes.blogspot.com.au/p/tinymozarts-scales-and-arpeggios.html

#2288909 - 06/12/14 01:23 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...]  
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I have just started learning "The Entertainer" and I am loving this piece. The previous few pieces (Scarborough Fair and Raisins & Almonds) also sound great to me as they use broken chords which give that New Age solo piano sound I enjoy.

My teacher and I have agreed to move on to book 2 in this series.
Only one piece left until the bonus pieces. I will probably start on some of the revision pieces at the beginning of book 2 while learning the bonus pieces in book 1.


Jeremy

Bach's motto : Let not your right hand know what the left is doing.

Started learning in March 2014
Alfred's Basic Adult All-in-one Book 1
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Line out jack or Headphone output?
by CMDVN. 05/27/17 01:39 PM
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